Juan The Maker

Gentle as a dove and free as the condor
eyes set to north
a vision so grand
the sweeping of the eagle

Hands that created the most beautiful music
carved of simplicity of selva bamboo
Two days of walking with his donkey
three on return full laden
Cane chosen from fifteen years knowing
as sharp as the simple tools in his care
That gentle man with a warmth and sharing
uncovered in a way I had not known
His house had no closed door
a wife in his arms a baby to be borne
The loungeroom was the kitchen, the workshop
same place in which to wash
Tools as ancient as the mud brick walls
but the beauty of his work left me in awe
With swift cuts and an ear for craft
selecting each tube without mistake
Occasionally the concentration would wane toward
coutries from outside his world
How much did I earn each year
always eager to compare
To explain a world based on ecconomics
to a man so earthed in another world
The sinking Bolivian peso that allowed
a carpenter to travel and learn
Take me from the condor to the eagle
an obscure destination in a far off land